When he was 10 years old, Stephen saw a movie called The 10 Commandments, which sparked his interest in filmmaking and photography. "It was fascinating," Stephen said as he goes through some photos he took of other teachers for the New Summit Academy website. "It was then that I realized that I wanted to be a filmmaker." However, he didn't take that seriously until he got to college. At that point, the fraternity he was in asked him to take photos of events that were being held and according to him, this is what really got the ball rolling.
Throughout his life, Stephen has found that photography and filmmaking serve as his pathway to mindfulness and that these forms of expression are ways for him to stay in the moment. There's no better example of this then when he spent time in Vietnam. "I did a lot of dangerous shit when I was there," Stephen said. From spending time in firefights to hanging out of helicopters, there was always a chance of injury or death. Yet Stephen found that whenever he had his camera, none of this mattered. He had something that he calls "cinematic immunity". (Click "Read More"...)
He described the mathematical aspects that were involved in all of this, throwing out terms like the "golden spiral" and the "golden rec- tangle". These are things that get people asking questions like "what are those?" and they undoubtedly influence the direction of Stephen's photographs. "You need to know grammar as a writer just like you need to know about the color spectrum, shutter speed, F stops and composition as a photographer," Stephen explained. "The technical aspects are just tools to free yourself as an artist."
In Stephen's eyes, all of said technical aspects are tools to capture a moment and create the aesthetics of a photograph. The technical tools are ones that allow a photo to be the best that it can be. There's no doubt that those aspects are what play into what his favorite photographs are. When asked what kind of photos he enjoys the most, Stephen replied with every day life photographs and street photography.
We're blessed as a school to have someone with the life experience, knowledge and passion that Stephen has, and there's no doubt that he's had a positive impact on many in the community.